The Western Daily Press’s editorial lineup has had a major overhaul as part of a two-stage development strategy.
Twelve journalists have begun new roles at the Bristol-based paper including Ellie Campbell, who becomes assistant editor.
Editor Terry Manners, who said WDP prided itself on cultivating its journalists, outlined the paper’s evolutionary policy to Press Gazette.
“A paper can’t stand still – if it does its journalists may become staid Editorial teams should move forward along with the stories.
“Essential to this are fresh ideas, new people and the chance for them to expand. This team will spearhead the drive of the paper in 2004 and challenge the national press.”
Manners explained that every year he headhunted certain employees and drove them to become future editors.
The paper’s former associate editor, Peter O’Reilly, has followed this lead by becoming editor of the Bristol Observer.
Campbell, who was previously news editor, said: “I have seen this paper go from strength to strength and it’s incredibly exciting to try to build on the success of last year and make the paper a force to reckon with.”
The sports desk has been strengthened by new appointments in recent months and now Chris Spittles, previously chief soccer writer, has been made sports editor.
He said: “This is great as far as sport is concerned. Now that there are more reporters we can cover our local sporting events much more comprehensively.
We will be putting several of our reporters forward for awards this year.”
Other appointments include former supplements editor Susie Weldon, who becomes woman’s editor, and Mark Templeton, who has been promoted to news editor with Andrew Postans replacing him as deputy news editor. The paper’s former district reporter, David Humphreys, has become TV editor and Chris Brown is transferring from features to become a news sub/page planner.
Recruits from outside the paper include Alison Short from The Citizen, Gloucester, who joins as news reporter, Chris Marke, who joins from the Taunton Times as sports page editor, and Sarah Pritchard-Williams, who moves from the Bristol Evening Post to be supplements editor.
Ed Witcombe has joined as a trainee and there are plans to employ at least two more in the near future.
The second stage of development at the paper will involve the recruitment of production staff and the strengthening of working relations with titles along the west coast of Britain.
At the 2003 Press Gazette Regional Press Awards, the Western Daily Press collected five honours including Newspaper of the Year, Daily Newspaper of the Year and Community Campaign of the Year.
By Sarah Lagan